PREVIEW: After Much Whining, Joe Biden Finally Gets His Univision ‘Softball’ Interview

April 5th, 2024 11:04 AM

Former President Donald Trump’s November sit down with Televisa anchor Enrique Acevedo, which aired on Univision in the United States, triggered a Chernobyl-style meltdown among the left. Part of the underlying rationale for the meltdown was a feeling that Acevedo didn’t come off the top rope on Trump, preferring instead to conduct a “normal” interview without performatively interrupting and pestering the 45th President of the United States. Many on the left derided the interview as a “softball”. However, everything is fine now that President Joe Biden has scored his own Univision “softball”. 

As Adrian Carrasquillo reports for Vanity Fair

Enrique Acevedo, Vanity Fair has learned, was in Phoenix to prepare for an interview this week with Biden, a major get for the Spanish-language giant as it works to reestablish its footing as a fair arbiter during the 2024 cycle. The interview, set to be pretaped on Thursday at the White House, according to two Bidenworld sources familiar with the details, will be part of a coverage package from Acevedo that will also feature an interview with campaign manager Julie Chavez Rodriguez, as well as two questions he already asked Biden in Phoenix, where he was given a total of four minutes with the president.

It is always interesting to get Carrasquilo’s perspective given his standing as unofficial scribe of the Professional Latinx. As we’ve documented extensively, the idea that Univision was ever a “fair arbiter” to begin with is laughable on its face. It is even more ridiculous that Univision would lose this pretend fair arbiter standing by virtue of a single one-off interview orchestrated by corporate headquarters in Mexico City, wherein the entirety of Univision’s news division was cut out of the booking and editorial process. But such is the left’s sense of entitlement to the Hispanic community, specifically the flow of information to those who speak mostly or only Spanish, that the Trump interview was completely out of bounds. 

But those criticisms of Univision were unfair and unwarranted, given that the network never stopped being a Democrat talking point regurgitator. Shortly after the Trump interview, Univision performed an interview of Vice President Kamala Harris that was so soft and servile, that to characterize it as a softball would be an egregious insult to softballs. As I said at the time:

This interview should’ve elicited the same outrage for the same reasons, but didn’t, because Kamala Harris got to air unchallenged talking points in front of a nice anchor who seemed happy to be there and didn’t ask any tough questions. And so the left, the Professional Latinx, the Immigration Industrial Complex, and the Acela Media all bit their tongues at this embarrassment of an interview, which might as well be an in-kind contribution to Biden-Harris 2024.

A double standard isn’t really a standard at all.  

Back to the Biden interview: it will be significantly different from the Trump interview, where Acevedo and crew simply set up shop at Mar-a-Lago and let it rip. Both from Carrasquillo’s reporting and from Acevedo himself, we can glean that this interview will have significant choreography (as one would expect given that Biden comms consigliere Anita Dunn set the whole thing up). The interview, then, is really an assemblage of mini-interviews at multiple locations, interspersed with an interview of Biden campaign manager Julie Chávez Rodriguez (a reminder that Biden has very little to offer in terms of Hispanic engagement other than a noun, a verb, and Cesar Chavez). 

The interview will be heavily edited, especially in light of Sage Steele’s allegations and firsthand experience with Biden’s cognitive decline. Between the editing and the voice dubbing provided by the GOAT interpreter Vicente de la Vega (who does all presidential dubbing for Univision), Biden is going to sound like a million bucks, thirty years younger, and most of the cognitive decline will be hidden from view. We’ll see whether they run the interview in English with subtitles on sister network UniMás, as they did with Trump. 

Then there’s Acevedo. How does he play the interview? Does he play it straight up like he did with Trump and just let Biden talk? Or does he cave to the activist left’s pressure to compensate? Mark my words, the left and the Professional Latinx will go nuts if Acevedo dares ask Biden a follow-up question or challenge him on anything. The most dangerous scenario for the left here is that Biden actually gets the same interview that Trump got.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, I don’t think that this interview will be a needle-mover for Biden in the same way that it may have been for Trump because no one watching Univision had ever seen a normal interview with Trump before. Univision interviewing a Democrat is just more of the same, and I expect that no one will resign in protest over this interview.

In the end, no matter how deferential the interview, the Acela Media and Professional Latinx are highly likely to come away unsatisfied. Univision, having raised crows, must now endure getting its eyes plucked out.